My 80s High Waisted flippy skirt: Vogue 2155

View B, the flirty- appearing skirt.  Vogue 2155, an 80s Calvin Klein design with appealing wide legged high waisted trousers too (but let’s lose the knife-edge pressed centre creases for 2012 shall we?).  I stalked this pattern for view B.  I adored it when I saw it on eBay & let it slip through my fingers.  Luckily it came my way again with a little patience.  Started February 2012 at about the same time that I acquired  Barbarella (tailor’s dummy).  Warning!  Having a tailor’s dummy can lead to eradicating all ease & creating mummy-like clothing.  I will save the evidence until the end – I am not quite strong enough to face the consequence of it appearing as my featured image in all the Google Readers up & down the land.  Seriously.  Not flattering.

However, let’s look at where I left it …

This lil love was hanging on Barb keeping the dust off her lower half.  The fabric is the most beautiful deepest midnight blue (no idea composition) which I scored at a carboot sale.  It had an awesome pedigree, being sold by a London lawyer who found she was too busy to make her gorgeous suiting into, er, posh suits.

It was hanging there though because the last time I tried it on (in late February) I was not stricken with it, not convinced by the high waist, really not convinced that the “pencil skirt meets pleated skirt” look was flattering & was thrown by uncertainty in how to rescue it.  When in doubt, ignore it I say!  If the solution is not apparent, it will come in its own good time.  Even if it is over 6 months later.

So when I tried it on last week, having lost a little weight, its mummification effect was lost!

I could move freely!  I was therefore encouraged to tweak the fit at the waist, & ended up taking a deeper seam at its top so that it was not quite so high waisted.  When you see the February picture you can see that I was confused about how high it should sit…it needed to reach a point that I was comfy with.  Which it is now.  But I still prefer wearing it with a belt.

This skirt I should say is made up of panels that incurs 9 seams plus the side seam with the (invisible) zip.  That’s 10 in all, with plentiful pleats providing the fullness & flippiness.  Altering the waist involved removing the facing & the half lining then shaving smallest of smallest amounts off each of these 9 seams.

This shows what it looked like at the beginning of the day, not sat on.  I was worried that all those pleats would get well & truly sqwurtched after a day at the office.  However it survived relatively unscathed.

The proof – at the end of the day.  This kind of style is tricky to fit & I think I could have got it better at the back – sway back looks in evidence.  But I am not fussed.  If I made it again I would not fit so far down my lower body, but allow the pleats to flare out from higher up my hips.

The pattern provided pieces for the lining, which is a bit odd.  I think I’d like it to have been a full lining…..here it is inside out.

Now for some funnies.  Question: Is this still a skirt that is stuck in the 1980s?

I know, it would have been better with a wig, but I’ve only just thought of it!

Here is the shameful-overfitted-mummification picture.  Be brave little ones.

Can you see why it was gathering dust?  There is too much of a high waist going on, combined with too much of a “fishtail” look.  I was bound inside this skirt, I tell you (hence the scowl- I do apologise this is a truly gruesome face-shot!).  I warn you, do not be too exuberant when having a tailor’s dummy to use to pin out 10 seams.  Yes it felt professional & very personalised….but at a cost!

But never mind, it’s all ended OK now!  I have ticked off one of my autumn makes, F.O.d a U.F.O.  & shared a picture with Kylie.  What do you reckon?  Are there any 80s patterns (apart from bog standard pencil skirts/ A line skirts ) that you feel have a chance in today’s style?

45 thoughts on “My 80s High Waisted flippy skirt: Vogue 2155

  1. Lauren

    A wadder worth saving, though, because the fixed skirt is SUPA flattering on you!! And obviously you know that, based on your delighted expression in the pictures :D

    I’m also glad you posted the overfitted picture, though, because those are so much fun to giggle at. I mean, come on! I posted a picture of myself wearing a bear suit this morning lol

    Reply
  2. Phil

    I like it! I must be stuck in the past as I like quite a few 80′s patterns, those oversized batwingy type T-shirts, square neck ones and also some of the skirts with shaped waistbands. Tbh they don’t look any different to some of today’s patterns to me! But those massive shoulder pads, no never, ever, ever again!!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Shudder….not shoulder pads, definitely not!! But youre right, I think there are some shapes that work in the now too, but is that because “young” people are wearing them & making them look good? Some of them do feel too close to my own dodgy clothed youth!

      Reply
  3. liza jane

    I love it! Lowering the waist a bit was just the trick. I love the flippy bits and don’t think think it looks eighties at all. The eighties were a funny era. Some things look totally dated and out of fashion but other times I’ve seen things that look like they fit right in- sewing pattern wise at least.

    Reply
  4. Kbenco

    Your skirt looks terrific, just as well after all that retrofitting! I have an 80′s Misayke pattern that I consider occasionally, but possibly he is less 80′s than out on a limb permanently ;)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ah ha! Yes I I am also drawn to some of the 80s designers on Vogue patterns still- real class. (I’ve been trawling looking for an elusive pattern I used to own in the late 80s funnily enough & notice which draw my eye!) But I also wonder how wearable they are now (or even were at the time! Some of the styles are beautiful but were they me?)

      Reply
  5. Corinne

    Your re-do was worth the wait I think. It looks very modern actually, a bit Ralph Lauren. I think there were some redeeming elements of 80′s style as long as the extremes are tamed. When I see new interpretations of old patterns I am always surprised how much they resemble modern patterns, but the older patterns tend to have more design lines, and pieces. In any case, this one is a winner.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks Corinne, it is funny to see similar style lines pop up in the decades …Katrina below on says how there are details/ lines recognisable from the 20s, 30s & 40s but in the 80s they overegged some of it & the pattern styling to today’s eyes might really be off putting!

      Reply
  6. Katrina Blanchalle

    Incredible! Gorgeous fabric, perfect fit. What a lot of work those pleats are!
    I think we’re all a little scarred by the 80s and we need to get over it so we can start using all those patterns again. So many of them are basically styles from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, remade into oversized costumes. I find it is best to ignore the awful styling on the envelope and go to the line drawing. I have used a few 80′s patterns successfully by sizing down and using quality fabrics. I think my recent pleated skirt from an 80s pattern was a good match to some of the 1930s skirt pattterns that I would never be able to afford even if they were out there. see here: http://olderthanvintage.blogspot.com/2012/09/mauve-madness-ii.html

    Reply
  7. MrsC

    It is gorgeous, and the tweaks you made make such a huge difference. I agree with Katrina – this comes from the more timeless, classy level of fashion that doesn’t date so fast. If at all. :)
    Funny, I just had this mental picture of you as a teenager in denim overalls, an oversized Morrissey t-shirt, Docs and an assumetrical spiky hair do with blue stripes. Am I in the ballpark? heeehee!

    Reply
      1. scruffybadgertime Post author

        I know Mrs C & am flattered you’d think I was so cool! Hmm, teenage/ 6th form years – baggy 3/4 trousers (rolled up to be 3/4 length), Breton shirts, oversized men’s jumpers (my Dad’s cast offs), long skirts with lacy petticoat showing & what are now termed “boyfriend cardigans” although we wore them huge & they were cheap from M&S. My hair, never been coloured but was much longer, straggly ringletty curly rats’ tails- never brushed it to the consternation of adults. Ahh, memories!

        Reply
        1. MrsC

          Aha, 80′s grunge! Me too, I loved that look. Admittedly a bit of high contrast primary colour print crept into my clothes repertoire, but I raided my Dad’s wardrobe too. Old suit jackets were a fave!

          Reply
          1. scruffybadgertime Post author

            My dad is 6 foot 3 and I’m 5 foot 3….I LOVED his oversized cast offs. And I had a beautiful man’s chunky cord jacket that I carried my worldly goods around in its pockets – handbags?! No way!

  8. Roobeedoo

    Oh my – how high can a waist go?! Actually, this is why I haven’t used a 1950′s skirt pattern that I stalked the interwebs to find – the waist looks too corsetty in a very bad way.
    Rewind…. the finished skirt is FAB! You look very “trim” in it :)

    Reply
  9. Sølvi

    This my friend, is a lovely save! What a skirt! It´s really flattering, and I love the swoshiness.You look just lovely.:-)

    I have a gored skirt with a gazillion panels that needs to be taken in, seeing this reminds me that I really should just get it done…;-)

    Reply
  10. Melizza

    Wow, the before and after look like night and day. You’ve made quite the flattering skirt there. The improvements you made are spot on. Glad you didn’t abandon the project.

    *Sigh* I love when a garment can be brought back from near death :)

    Reply
  11. LinB

    Ditto all the above. Skirt styles never really go out of wearablility — except possibly the pannier skirts of the late 1700s, and the astonishing bustles of the mid 1880s — the ones that stuck out as far in back as a lady was tall. Those ones. Fabric on this skirt is perfectly matched to the silhouette — firm enough for the tight bits, flowy enough for the released pleats, fairly non-wrinkly. I like this silhouette on you. I agree that the original height of the raised waist was far too high for comfort. One’s waist truly does begin under one’s ribcage, no? (Even though, for some of us, the narrowest place on our torso may well be mid-rib, under our ample and/or floppy bosom.) Nice twirl factor on the skirt, too.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I chuckled when I read this Lin! You make me laugh so. Of course, bustles were ridiculous weren’t they – there is a costume drama on TV at the moment called the Paradise & the bustle I saw the other day could have hidden a 5 year old in its depths!!
      And no, waists definitely do not occur at ribcage level! Yes the fabric seems to suit this style, but I have no idea what it is- it’s got a shiny lustre & a waffle weave & the lawyer I bought it from said that it had been part of a Chanel off cut (& I believed her because she believed the man she bought it from!!) Whatever it is, my sewster’s intuition knew it would work, much to my sewster’s ever doubting rationality.

      Reply
  12. Shari

    A fantastic reworking! You have improved the style by your adjustments and it looks great on you. I really like it with the belt and it the flare is a definite fun factor!

    Reply
  13. missjoiedevivre

    The remake looks fabulous on you, what a wonderful job! I’m fond of super high waists so I actually don’t loathe the bottom view, but I understand how many would find it disconcerting (or worse), and definitely think the new version is much more you, and much more wearable for modern life, as well as more versatile to be dressed up and down. And as always, your photos are grand :)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Why thank you Miss Joiedevivre! Yes, high waists can look so fabulous on others, but it’s how they feel on the wearer that is important & I can’t be doing with feeling all trussed up! This is about as high as I think I can go!!

      Reply
  14. Tanit-Isis

    OK, obviously I’m a bit late, but I had to put in how much I LOVE THIS SKIRT. I want one. Except I don’t have your fabulous waist to show off, sigh. Still. Want.

    I have picked up a few eighties patterns that have a bit of a sweet almost 20s vibe about them… other than that, though, I think the only ones I’ve ever liked are skirts. I do have an 80s pencil-skirt pattern I’ve been meaning to root out…

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you…..I could see you in it though, fits with your dropped waist vibe? Yes, looking through some of the 80s loose dropped waist dresses definitely recall 20s, just need to adjust them pesky shoulders!!

      Reply
  15. Jessica

    Nice save! That revamped and revived skirt is lovely and, I predict, has potential for wardrobe workhorse? And can I just say (possibly again) that I love your style? :-).

    Reply
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